It didn’t take long to study for the Bible to convict me tonight. That’s for sure. So how do you react when you find out a loved one is experiencing a relapse into their drug overdose? How do you react when your mom, dad, sister or brother, or even your own child decides to join an illegal gang and get involved too far into drugs? Are you heartbroken?
It’s understandable if you are heartbroken when someone you care for chooses to go the wrong path. The reason being, that you know the consequences of those wrong choices, either from experience or you’ve seen it happen to others in your life. You care for them and want the best for them and anything that brings them grief(especially if they’re your children), you want to take away from them. This is why some parents become helicopter parents and don’t allow their kids to do anything without constant supervision or putting them in bubble wrap whenever they leave the house.
In the case of your loved ones, you would rather take on all their trouble so that they don’t have to experience it themselves. The reason being, you understand the trouble that is about to come to them and the hurt they are about to experience. The knowledge of the pain they’re about to experience pushes you to try and convince them to change their mind. You know that the drugs will lead them to bad decisions, jail and possibly get them killed either by overdose or the company that comes with doing drugs and the other bad decisions with it. You would rather take their place but it is ultimately their decision.
“I speak the truth in Christ —I am not lying; my conscience is testifying to me with the Holy Spirit — that I have intense sorrow and continual anguish in my heart. For I could almost wish to be cursed and cut off from the Messiah for the benefit of my brothers, my own flesh and blood. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the temple service, and the promises. The ancestors are theirs, and from them, by physical descent, came the Messiah, who is God over all, praised forever. Amen.”
Romans 9:1-5Hcsb Bible
Now that you have that in your mind, how are you responding when you find out that someone you love or care for says they don’t believe in Jesus Christ? How are you responding when they say their an atheist, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu or agnostic? Are you like most people I know and just accept it and shrug it off as just another persons decision. I’m not saying it isn’t their decision because it is, but I don’t believe we hear that and understand the gravity of the situation that we find ourselves in when we encounter someone that isn’t a believer in Jesus Christ.
They are saying indirectly that they are going to die, be separated from you and I, go to hell and never experience the love of God ever again. They will forever be separated. They don’t just cease to exist and go into nothingness, but rather they have a life after they die. We have a life after we die and we need to act as if we actually believe that to be true because it is.
We need to understand that we are to live our lives as close to Christ perfection as we can to be a better witness to that lose soul that is a loved one or coworker or friend, because they are watching. The apostle Paul says that he grieves in his heart and soul for those that he knows back home(his fellow Jews that he probably grew up with), because they haven’t accepted the free gift of salvation. He would much rather knowingly experience the torture and separation of hell so that his fellow brothers and sisters get to go to heaven, but he can’t because it is their decision. Just like it was or is your decision to accept Christ as your Lord and Savior.
Paul took his knowledge of what God saved him from and put it into action. He took his grief and put it into his motivations for his actions. He went on missionary trips, spread the gospel wherever he went so that no one he encountered had an excuse.
I’m not saying that everyone has to be a missionary or a pastor, because that’s not everyone’s calling in life. I’m also not saying to grab a Bible and beat any unbelievers over the head with it, but rather live out the life of Christ and show them the love of Christ any chance we get. So that one day, they may accept Christ. We are called to make disciples of all nations and groups where we go. In our families, churches, workplaces, schools, and any other place we find ourselves in that season of life.
There are several ways we can act on our grief for the lost. One is obviously but very powerful and that is to pray for them, since prayer is a great tool in our belt. One is to study the word of God and be ready for any questions, they may have so that you can help them come to Christ whenever the time comes. Another is to show the love of God by helping them while on earth in whatever way we can think of, be that by helping them take care of their kids, tutor them if they need it, help them get a job if needed and a thousand other areas that opens itself for us to help. Obviously don’t get taken advantage of, but always be ready to show the love of God if the opportunity walks up to you.
The last but certainly not least, actually give them the gospel of Jesus Christ. This last one is powerful and is sometimes the scariest one to do for some people for one reason or another. Sharing the gospel is sometimes the most effective way to bring them to Christ immediately because God has already been working on their hearts.
So eventually, you will be encountered by an unbeliever. If you haven’t or it’s been awhile, you probably need to change that. It could be that you have decided to surround yourself completely with just Christian people and not take the great commission to heart. The other scenario is that it could be that you haven’t been talking to those around you and they could very well be an unbeliever and you don’t know it. In any case, be ready to interact with them, because they are everywhere.
At the end of the day, you will need to decide how you are going to be a follower of Christ. Passive like most or active like Paul was in his prayer life, vocation, personal life and any other ways that God can open the door.
If you have any questions or thoughts, comment below and I’ll respond when I can.